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Upcoming 2024 events!

1) Discovery Science Emerging Scholar Seminar (January 2024 and Fall 2024)
2) Lab-to-table (Feb 2024)
3) Coordination of the VOICES library (BRET office) (Feb – April 2024)
4) Establishment of the Linda Sealy Emerging Scholar Travel Award (April 2024)
5) VIRAL symposium
6) Celebration of freedom: the deeper significance of Juneteenth (June 2024)
7) Sponsorship of the Intersections Science Fellows Symposium
8) Lou De Felice Travel Award
10) Invisible illness Panel
10) Tri-institutional seminar in collaboration with Dr. AJ Hinton



2023 CoDI Cooks with VIRAL, Tuesday, Nov. 21, 4:00 p.m.

The Cell and Developmental Biology “Conversations on Diversity and Inclusion – CoDI” journal club is held monthly on Tuesdays this fall from 4:00 to 5:00 p.m. Two sessions are left on Nov. 21 and Dec. 5.

Everyone is invited to a special edition of CoDI on the Road this month: CoDI in the Kitchen! This month’s event will be co-hosted with the Vanderbilt International Researcher Alliance in two weeks on Tuesday, Nov. 21 at 4:00 p.m. in the demonstration kitchen at the Vanderbilt Recreation and Wellness Center. In the spirit of fellowship and reflection across cultures, there will be a tutorial in international cooking hosted by one of our very own CDB colleagues (more information to come).

Friends, family, and colleagues from outside the CDB department are welcome, and please, help us spread the word! Sign up to help us plan in advance. Due to the nature of this event, we highly encourage participants to register ahead of time. We will send out a reminder as the event draws closer.

Contact information/links for registration:
























2023 Juneteenth


Our second annual Basic Sciences Juneteenth event, “Juneteenth: A Celebration of Freedom,” was held in partnership with the Bishop Joseph Johnson Black Cultural Center this year and which will blend intellectual enrichment with entertainment.

Freedom’s Joyful Day: Celebrating and Reflecting on the Meaning of JuneteenthView video
Learotha Williams, Ph.D., Professor, Department of History, Political Science, Geography, and Africana Studies, Tennessee State University

Self-care and Wellness
Raquel Martin, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, Department of Psychological Sciences and Counseling, Tennessee State University






Diversity Day – 2023!

April Diversity Month was instituted in 2004 to honor and celebrate the multiple ways we show up, interact, and exist in the world.

On April 21, 2023 we hosted “April 2023 Diversity Celebration,” with dynamic diverse speakers discussing STEMM and STEM-related topics: Dr. Maria Elena Zavala, Dr. Derrick MortonDr. Nellie Tran and Dr. Terrell Morton.









black history month!

In honor of Black History Month, Felysha Jenkins, assistant dean of diversity, equity, and inclusion for the Basic Sciences hosted a lecture and Q&A, “Understanding Systemic Racism and Antiblackness,” on February 23rd.

The event was led by Bedelia Nicola Richards, associate professor of sociology at the University of Richmond and founder and CEO of RaceTalk, LLC. Richards, a race and education scholar, facilitates conversations and workshops about race for institutions around the country and provides empirically based solutions for achieving racial equity goals.

Richards has published a co-edited volume titled Clearing the Path for First Generation College Students: Qualitative and Intersectional Studies of Educational Mobility. In addition, her work appears in journals such as Sociology of Race and EthnicityEthnic and Racial Studies, Social Problems, and Sociology Compass. As a publicly engaged scholar, she has also shared her expertise through Scholar Strategy Network, Inside Higher Ed, and other platforms.



Annual EDI Impact Report

André L. Churchwell, Vice Chancellor for Outreach, Inclusion and Belonging and Chief Diversity Officer

Vanderbilt’s Office for Equity, Diversity and Inclusion has released the latest edition of its annual 2021-22 Annual EDI Report. The new EDI report provides an update on the progress we’ve made toward our shared goal of making Vanderbilt a place where belonging is at the forefront, stemming from the commitment and collaboration among teams across campus.



Conversations in Diversity

In October 2002 the School of Medicine Basic Sciences launched an annual, month-long event series titled “Conversations in Diversity.” Each year we will focus on a different theme, and weekly panels will discuss how we can use diversity, equity, and inclusion-based initiatives to improve our community within the context of the theme. Learn more here!


2022 Juneteenth Celebration & Mini-Symposium!

L-R: Nathan Smith, Felysha Jenkins, Antentor Hinton Jr.; Carlan Romney, Jessica Thomas; Kafond Wilder, Felysha Jenkins, Antentor Hinton Jr.

Vanderbilt University School of Medicine Basic Sciences hosted its inaugural “Juneteenth: A Freedom Celebration” event on June 15. 2022. The programming sought to inform the community about the history and meaning of the important date, which commemorates the end of slavery in the U.S., and highlight the accomplishments of Black scientists both at Vanderbilt and across the country. Felysha Jenkins, the diversity, equity and inclusion program manager for Basic Sciences, and Antentor Hinton Jr., assistant professor of molecular physiology and biophysics, organized the event.

Research talks were presented by Aileen Fernandez, a postdoctoral fellow at Yale University; Brittany Taylor, an assistant professor of biomedical engineering at the University of Florida; and Nathan Smith, the associate dean for equity and inclusion in research and research education and an associate professor of neuroscience at the University of Rochester. Carlan Romney, a master’s student at Fisk University, was recognized with the Vanderbilt Juneteenth Award for Lightning Talk–Best Graduate Student Abstract. Jessica Thomas, a postdoctoral fellow in Roger Colbran’s lab in the Department of Molecular Physiology and Biophysics, won the Vanderbilt Juneteenth Award for Lightning Talk–Best Postdoctoral Fellow Abstract and Best Overall Abstract.

Read all about this event here, view all of the award winners, and see photos!